Two well-known local economists — University of Colorado Boulder’s Leeds School of Business research division executive director Brian Lewandowski and Colorado state legislature research agency chief economist Kate Watkins — are set to deliver keynote addresses at next week’s Boulder Economic Summit.

The event, set for Oct. 14 at the Embassy Suites Boulder hotel, will also feature remarks from Josh Davies, CEO of the Center for Work Ethic Development.

The theme of the 2021 summit, the first since 2019 to be held in person, is “Our Path Forward.”

“What we’re trying to do is draw a line from where we are through the trends that we believe will stick post-pandemic,” Boulder Economic Council executive director Scott Sternberg told BizWest. “And then we want to (present) some very practical solutions for what we can do to keep our economy vital.”

Davies will focus his keynote speech on “how the work environment is evolving” as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and other macro trends, Sternberg said.

Networking opportunities will be available after the speakers present.

Attendees not comfortable with going to the summit in person have the option of watching the keynotes virtually.

Traditionally, the summit features breakout sessions with panel discussions after the keynotes. These will be held virtually at later dates in an effort to reduce the potential for virus spread.

Webinars on the changing workforce and workplace will be held virtually on Nov. 10 and Dec. 16.

The breakouts will focus on challenges that employers face attracting talent and the shift toward remote and hybrid work environments.

“These are two factors that we hear about almost every day, so we want to address those in panel discussions,” Sternberg said.

While the Boulder Economic Council and its parent organization, the Boulder Chamber, have made contingencies for those not wishing to attend in person, Sternberg said many in the business community are looking forward to again gathering in person.

“People feel somewhat comfortable and really want to get out and network as they have been in the past,” he said. “We’re doing it safely and provide creative ways to be inclusive — that’s our approach this year.”

For more information and to register for the Boulder Economic Summit, visit

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